Wednesday, March 29, 2017

National Association of Elevator Contractors[NAEC] Spring Conference 2017 - Scottsdale, AZ

We are wrapping up the NAEC spring conference in Scottsdale Arizona.  It has been a great few days of learning and networking.  The National Association of Elevator Contractors is the largest trade organization for elevator contractors and suppliers in North America.

The conference started on Sunday March 26th with a Board of Directors meeting where we work on the organizations direction and keep things moving.  After the BOD meeting we had a great contractor member session which included 50-60 different elevator contractors from around the country discussing topics that affect them; MCP, MRLs, inspection requirements and OEM issues amount other topics.

[Board of Directors in session]

Monday started off with the opening breakfast then moved on to a great presentation from Imperial Electric talking about their motors and machines.  We moved on to some HR information on new employment laws and finished the day with a open mic hosted by Craig Zomchek.  At the open mic we batted around a lot of topics from contractors and suppliers across the country.

[Imperial Electrics presentation]
 [Karen Hopkins HR presentation]
 [My favorite session of the conference]

Tuesday started off with a few options, best roping methods and a leadership presentation.  The next set of programs where roped hydraulic maintenance and hot oil jobs by MEI as well as SEO by Google.  Next up was a NAEC safety panel discussion.  There was a rack & pinion elevator presentation that I missed.

 [Leadership presentation]

[MEI presentation]

Wednesday had round tables with discussions on traveling cable and compensation, chair installation, healthy pit environment, private residence lift code changes, new hire safety orientation, business system conversion, home elevator installations and NAECs VTMP.

[VTMP round table discussion]

There was a lot of golf and a few receptions and a lot of fun!  There was quite a bit to do so I missed some items that where featured during the educational conference.  Next year will be Carlsbad, CA.

If you have any questions or would like any additional information please email me at  You can always go to for more information on the National Association of Elevator Contractors.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Elevator Fireman’s automatic recall and Fireman’s service Phase I & II [FEO]

We have been getting more and more questions about FEO[Firefighters emergency operation].  I wanted to put a better posting together to show the different items that encompass FEO.  For this purpose it is to explain what fire equipment is needed for modernization of a control system.


Fireman’s service phase I – This is the key switch on the main floor that will recall the elevator to the floor.  The intention is to bring the elevator to the main landing to give access to the elevator to emergency personnel.  This key switch is provided by the elevator contractor during a modernization.

Fireman’s service phase II – This is the key switch in the elevator that when initiated will allow emergency personnel to use the elevator.  All hall calls are disabled, the elevator can only be operated from the car station inside the elevator.

Automatic recall – This is when the elevator is hooked to smoke detectors.  When a fire detector goes off the elevator will “recall” to the appropriate floor.  I.E. if the main lobby fire recall detector goes off the elevator will “recall” away from the main lobby floor and stay there with the doors open, no one can call or use the elevator[with exception of emergency personnel].  If a fire recall detector goes off on the 7th floor the elevator would “recall” to the main landing and stay there with the doors open, no one can call or use the elevator.

What fire equipment does the fire control company need?

1.    Fire recall detector at each landing
2.    Fire recall detector in the machine room
3.    Relays in the elevator machine room
4.    Annunciator somewhere in the building[look for direction from the fire panel company]
5.    If you have sprinklers in the machine room you will need a heat detector and shunt trip
6.    If you have sprinklers in the hoistway you will need a heat detector, if you have a heat detector you need a smoke detector.  If you have a heat detector you will need a shunt trip.

[Fire detector outside of each hoist way entrance]

[Phase I key switch in hall way - This is a City of Chicago location in door frame]

[Phase II operation with closed door]

[Phase II operation with open door showing fire controls]

[Fire relays in machine room - Provided by fire control panel company]

[On left fire control panel provided by fire control panel company]

*In the City of Chicago, it has been permitted in the past to be hooked to sprinkler flow switches.

Guidance form AHJ[Authority Having Jurisdiction] – If you live in AHJ that is open to giving direction I would recommend having your fire panel company get information on what they need to do from them.  At times the AHJ will require additional work, strobes and pull stations.  Any additional scope of work is up to the AHJ’s Fire Prevention Bureau as they have authority on this item.  Get the AHJ’s requirements in writing!  You don’t want any surprises after you start the elevator project because a new Fire Chief starts and doesn’t know the conversation you had with the previous Fire Chief.

As always feel free to contact us at, email or call 630-766-7230.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Chicago Elevator Modernization – Machine modernization

I was blown away by the look of the machine room after we completed the elevator modernization.  The final touches took a little bit of extra time but everything turned out very nice.  This was a project where we replaced the controllers, motors, cables, governors, fixtures, door equipment[including tracks], and installed a fire panel.  

This is a project that had more than 12 people work on it from start to finish between selling it, engineering it, delivery, accounting, project management, installation and adjusting.  1 or 2 people do not make a project go well, an entire team makes a project go well.  I'm proud to have been one part of this project.

More pictures of the full project to come. 



If you have any questions or would like information from Colley Elevator you can go to, email or call 630-766-7230.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Chicago Fireman’s Service [FEO] Phase II Elevator mandate - 3/5/17 update

We are a few months in to the mandate and there seems to be some general confusion with the technical end and trigger end[who is the trigger – Inspector or Elevator Contractor] on the mandate. 

What we know

1.    FEO phase II mandated was adopted on 11/2/16
2.    Mandate is due on 1/1/17
3.    City list is below of expectation on how Fireman’s Emergency Operation is to operate

I spoke to some other contractors and inspectors about the requirements and they didn’t seem clear on who was supposed to be failing the elevators.  Contractors say it is the Inspectors job and Inspectors say it is the Contractors job.  Both are probably correct.  If an inspector sees visually the elevator does not comply it should not pass the inspection, if the inspector exercises FEO and sees it does not pass, it should not pass.  The big question is if the contractor is completing a CAT 1 test, should the elevator pass the FEO portion of the CAT 1 if it is not compliant with the mandate?  The elevator works as it has since it was installed and accepted, but, the elevators phase II is not compliant with the mandate, mandate was in play on 1/1/17.

Big question for elevator personnel – Is the inspector the trigger during his inspection?  Is the contractor the trigger when they do the CAT 1 testing?  Or are they both the trigger?

Big question for building owners – If you do not know anything about this, get in touch with your elevator maintenance provider.

If you have any questions or would like information from Colley Elevator you can go to, email or call 630-766-7230.